need a sign for the front door

suz1023January 13, 2009

people seem to have a hard time finding my front door lately. i always find it, but somehow they either enter the barn or go right by the front door and end up peering into the living room through the french doors, which startles me and the dogs.

the door is a real front door, with doorbell, paper/cork thing for notes,etc., so i think it's hard to miss, but maybe not.

so i guess i need a sign which tells you where the door is. short of actually putting a sign on the door which says--front door--what else would convey that idea? "welcome" seems a little generic, as does "entrance".

there is a little shop in town that will make any sign i want, i'd like something friendly and easy to understand--not too cute-sy.

thanks, i'm totally drawing a blank on this one!

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parma42

What about putting a knocker on your door? It's a classic look and certainly reads front door, to me.

Depending on the space you have, you can also place a little vignette with a small chair and stone/ironware filled with seasonal greenery or flowers.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 10:17AM
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teacats

Actually -- I do like "Welcome" or "Entrance" signs leading to the front door.

((the obvious "HEY YOU!! -- QUIT PEEKING IN MY WINDOWS -- THIS IS THE FRONT DOOR" sign seems a bit too much .... just teasing! LOL!)

Take another look at your whole entrance way -- could you add bright flowers or garden lights to lead your guests?

Perhaps add a bit of color (maybe a bench or chair or even bright flowerpot?) by the doorway?

Just some thoughts! :)

Jan

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 10:18AM
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lovesummer

Your landscaping should direct visitors to the proper door. This is a pretty common problem and addressed in a lot of landscaping books; check out some in the library for ideas. The path should be wider and more prominent to this door, for one thing. You might pose your query, with pictures, in one of the garden forums like landscape design, I'm sure you could get some good ideas. The bottom line, I think, is that it's more of a landscaping issue than just the front door issue.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 10:37AM
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suero

How about a welcome mat?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 10:56AM
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uxorial

I agree with lovesummer, you need a path of some kind to lead visitors to the door. Do your visitors park on the street? Do they park in your driveway?

You may also need better lighting next to your front door. If it's dark, nobody can tell that it's the main entrance. Install a motion sensor on the light, so it goes on (and off) automatically when someone approaches.

As far as a sign, I'd stick to something simple--just your last name and house number (in large letters, so emergency vehicles can easily see it).

If you decide to go with a welcome mat, I recommend this one: :-)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 11:43AM
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suz1023

now that's a door mat i could use!!
ok, i have decorative lights on either side of the door, a wrought iron door scraper--it's an oval floral design and very pretty. plus an old painted bench and a large chest we store boots in.
the gate leads to the door, then if you take a right out into the yard you follow the path to the patio and the living room french doors.
it could not be more obvious where the actual front door is!!!
i guess my guests may just be nosy or unfamiliar with front doors!
my idea is to post signs of the front by the gate. one which says 'to the barn' with an arrow and one which says ??? pointing to the front door.
i don't want it to say 'to the front door' or 'welcome'. i was thing of an arrow with the words 'to the kitchen'.
would that clue you in if for some reason you were confused about how to enter the house?
maybe the the sign should say 'enter ye all who abandon hope', nah, that might be a little overly dramatic.
sigh, this is making me nuts, obviousely.
(where does that quote come from, i can't remember...)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 11:54AM
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dgmarie

Your landscaping should direct visitors to the proper door.

Well, but not always. I understand the OP's issue. I have it myself. People pull into my driveway and go directly to the side door (laundry room) and not the front door (around the front of the house).

I have a ton of ladies coming over tonight. I guarantee they will plow into the side door and not the front door as it's super cold (negative windchill) and snowing.

See the door they all will use:

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 2:18PM
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sharon_fl

I think it would be clever for the sign to be hung on the gatepost (as long as you have some type of nighttime lighting..that says:

DELIVERIES >

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 2:25PM
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peoniesandposies

for dgmarie ... you might want to set an obstruction, such as a chair or plant pot right in front of the door that you don't want them to use. Personally I'd also rather they come in my nicely decorated front door foyer rather than into my laundry area.

I think a little trouble is that people don't want to be so formal anymore ... they don't want to use the front door :)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 2:28PM
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bronwynsmom

You can paint your front door a different, stronger color, and the other doors to match your house trim.
As to the quote, it's "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here," and it's Dante, from The Divine Comedy.
I have a head full of this trivial stuff...no wonder I can't remember anything! ;>)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 2:31PM
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kgsd

You mention a path to the patio - is there also a path to the front door? If I saw only one pathway I would probably just follow that one.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 2:48PM
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dgmarie

To the OP: I think a photo of the situation would help understand the dilemma your guests face.

As for mine, no way would I put a chair or something to block the door. That would seem totally unwelcoming. These people realize I have a front door. If they want to enter through the laundry room, so be it!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 3:10PM
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melrosgirl

Dgmarie,

I have the same problem. We have a side load garage and many people insist on parking in the driveway. Then they walk to my side door (laundry/mud room). Half the time I don't hear them knocking there as I'm expecting them to ring my front door bell. Drives me CRAZY.

The side door is next to the garage. It is no where near the front door.

People should park in front of your home IMO and not in the driveway. If they park out front, I have a lovely front porch that makes it obvious where the front door is. I've considered putting a sign on my side door saying please use other door. I guess my "friends and family" entrance is really a family only entrance.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 5:02PM
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amysrq

For a great read on the subject, see The Welcoming Garden, y Gordon Hayward.

It's funny, we only have a front door that is intuitively accessible to guests. The back doors are behind gates. I have though of it as a liability, but now I am feeling better about my situation!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 6:56PM
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arleneb

DGMarie and Melrosgirl: How about a little cartoony sign on the WRONG door that says "Laundry staff entrance only!" At best, maybe they'll look for the front door. At worst, maybe they'll help with your laundry!

Arlene

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 7:19PM
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suz1023

i love 'guests' and 'deliveries'!!
though i wish it was and 'staff'!!
i'll get the signs made and take pictures for you.
thanks!

and i'm going to read the welcoming garden, too.
thankyou for the quote,that's probably not the best place for it though!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 7:28PM
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oceanna

I vote for humungus yellow arrows painted on the ground. hehe

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 8:31PM
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brutuses

You know there is the other explanation for this. I for one, when approaching someone's home, immediately wonder if there is a side entrance because lots and lots of people have them and prefer people to use them as they are usually right off of the kitchen where most people are hanging in or around. It's less footsteps to answer the side door rather than the front door. So that could be the reason for some people automatically going to a side door. They might be stupid like me. LOL

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 9:03PM
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seagrass_gw

We have this problem - our house is on a long narrow lot and our garage faces the road. There are numerous doors from which one can enter onto various porches on either side of our house (an extended Cape). We have added onto it over the years and finally have a "front" door but it is not properly landscaped yet. We are putting up a fairly major fence and gate to keep people from coming through the garden up to our "back" door near our kitchen/dining area. I am thinking maybe a flag pole mounted on the wall near the door we want people to use might indicate it's importance, either with a seasonal flag or the American flag flying from it (along with appropriate landscaping).

Or are decorative flags out of style? I don't know!

seagrass

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 9:24PM
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bluekitobsessed

"Servants' entrance" sign on the laundry room entrance, and a wreath with a "welcome" sign on the front door, might work.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 7:49PM
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jeanninepc99

I have two doors that are very near each other. The patio door faces the sidewalk, but the step up is a little too big (so I thought). I have had CL people climb up the brick wall (there's a raised garden in front of the patio and door) and come to that door! I tried to beef up the front door and made it a little more inviting than the side door. I still have people coming to the "side"...I just deal with it.

Something that I found that I really like is a large, adhesive monogram for the front door. I think it looks pretty nice. They come larger and smaller and in all sorts of colors/styles.

I photoshopped the number off the door so none of you stalkers will come find me. ;) The number is above the knocker, so it "balances" out the monogram (I think).
Pardon the tennis balls...they're my dogs and I have since bought a little basket and trained him to drop them in there before coming in from playing fetch.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 8:34PM
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dab07

I couldn't resist, since I'm O/C about Italy and Italian: "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" translates to "abandon all hope, Ye who enter here"... from Dante's Inferno, I think.

You could put that over your french doors ... if that doesn't discourage people, I don't know what would!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 10:22PM
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